December 24, 2008

Changing Chennai

It seems that every India trip no matter how closely spaced I am complaining about the changing landscape of India in general and specifically Chennai. Yet again I am out to complain. The pollution is unprecedented and the noise pollution psychopathic, the traffic insane, the crowds always in a hurry, the prices astronomical and did I mention the traffic? Gosh! Appa and I took the MRTS (local train) yesterday and it was the most peace I've experienced in this city that is is undergoing the worst metamorphosis since they last spoke of Kaliyug. I suppose every Indian city is just as bad and virtually all of my friends coming back to various cities have identical complaints. I thought I would be able to witness a change for the better since the days of Chennai Chutzpah... thanks to the global economical recession or whatever... but nothing of that sort has happened. People have instead become brand crazy with the increased purchasing power. No one in an IT job has a "normal" cell phone that was once used to just make/receive calls/SMS. Now it goes way beyond just that. It's become a status symbol of sorts. The one major improvement though has been the Guindy airport flyover. It's a marvel of sorts and has worked wonders to regulating the horrendous traffic that was witnessed while the thing was under construction. That apart Chennai is still filled with 'under-construction' fly-overs which are still debatable as to whether they will improve/worsen the traffic situation (for instance I think the IIT fly-over is a big waste of time/money and what not).

Maybe this is what it takes to make the country a "developed"one... the path isn't easy and while the residents of Chennai have certainly taken it in their stride the changes are shocking for the visitors like us. I suppose that in the grand scheme of things, that hardly matters.

4 comments:

Jughead said...

Ragu (my bro), who has just moved back to India from USA, had a funny experience at Viveks. Vivekla poyittu he shocked the salesman by saying he wanted a cell phone which has no extra features like webcam, fm radio and all the other accessories. He had the salesman looking all the over the store for a simple cell phone. There were only 2 phones in the whole store!

Jaya said...

Jughead -> Yeah, I bet he shocked the daylights out of the guy.. and I bet the 2 cell phones he did stock were ancient and in the lines of Nokia 3310. Lol. Thanks for visiting the blog and keep coming back.

Jughead said...

btw, don't know if u realised it, this is CA

Jaya said...

CA - I had no idea :) Keep visiting nevertheless

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